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- Chamber of Commerce Actions June 3-4
- STUDENT ORGANIZING KIT
- COALITION LOGIN
- From EPI: Economists' Statement on the Employee Free Choice Act
- From CEPR: Dropping the Ax: Illegal Firings During Union Election Campaigns
Employee Free Choice Act is now in the House & Senate
As we all know, our country is in an economic crisis. People are losing their jobs, their homes, their ability to provide their children with quality education, and their ability to retire with dignity and peace of mind. The cost of the most basic necessities such as health care, utilities, and fuel continue to skyrocket. In this current economic crisis, the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930's, workers and their communities need more opportunities to get ahead.
The obscene amount of power that employers wield over workers has contributed to this economic crisis by stagnating wages to the point where workers have been forced to rely on credit to make the most basic ends meet. Corporations have ruptured the critical relationship between wages and productivity.
We need stronger laws that level the playing field for workers and their families. The Employee Free Choice Act will make it easier for men and women to form and/or join a union, when they choose to in their workplace.
Union members earn higher wages and are more likely to receive health benefits, short-term disability pay, life insurance, and pensions than their non-union counterparts. Read more about the union difference here. The Employee Free Choice Act is critical because it will help our economy work for working families and communities by helping to improve wages and benefits, lessening workers' dependence on credit and loans.
The Employee Free Choice Act will give workers a fair and direct path to form unions through majority sign-up, help employees secure a contract with their employer in a reasonable period of time, and toughen penalties against employers who violate their workers' rights. See below for a summary of the Bill. With a free choice to join unions, working people can bargain for better pay, health care and pensions and build a better life themselves and their families.
Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act will allow more workers to form or join unions, which will strengthen working people's ability to shift the entire political landscape in our country. By allowing workers to organize politically in drastically larger numbers, we can create a government that will defend and expand policies promoting workers' rights, human needs, and economic and ecological sustainability. The Employee Free Choice Act can help us get our country and economy back on track.
What's more, the Employee Free Choice Act will help our bring our legal system in line with the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which allow workers to freely associate with one another to form unions if they choose.
This is a call to everyone who cares about workers' rights and social and economic justice to mobilize! We need your help pass this important legislation that will strengthen the entire working class and reign in the out-of-control corporations who violate workers' human rights every day in our country!Jobs with Justice's role in this fight is to leverage our relationships with community, faith-based, student and youth organizations, movements and individuals to engage them in actively supporting this effort by endorsing EFCA, signing on to the Workers' Rights Board letter and making their own personal statements, engaging the media through op-eds and letters to the editor, signing the EFCA card and petition and supporting workers' rights struggles in your community and calling for labor law reform.
1. Certification on the Basis of Signed Authorizations
Provides for certification of a union as the bargaining representative if the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finds that a majority of employees in an appropriate unit has signed authorizations designating the union as its bargaining representative. Requires the board to develop model authorization language and procedures for establishing the authenticity of signed authorizations.
2. First-Contract Mediation and Arbitration
Provides that if an employer and a union are engaged in bargaining for their first contract and are unable to reach agreement within 90 days, either party may refer the dispute to the Federal Mediation, and Conciliation Service (FMCS) for mediation. If the FMCS has been unable to bring the parties to agreement after 30 days of mediation the dispute will be referred to arbitration and the results of the arbitration shall be binding on the parties for two years. Time limits may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.
3. Stronger Penalties for Violations While Employees Are Attempting to Organize or Obtain a First Contract
Makes the following new provisions applicable to violations of the National Labor Relations Act committed by employers against employees during any period while employees are attempting to organize a union or negotiate a first contract with the employer: a. Mandatory Injunctions: Provides that just as the NLRB is required to seek a federal court injunction against a union whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that the union has violated the secondary boycott prohibitions in the act, the NLRB must seek a federal court injunction against an employer whenever there is reasonable cause to believe the employer has discharged or discriminated against employees, threatened to discharge or discriminate against employees or engaged in conduct that significantly interferes with employee rights during an organizing or first contract drive. Authorizes the courts to grant temporary restraining orders or other appropriate injunctive relief.b. Treble Back Pay: Increases the amount an employer is required to pay when an employee is discharged or discriminated against during an organizing campaign or first contract drive to three times back pay. c. Civil Penalties: Provides for civil fines of up to $20,000 per violation against employers found to have willfully or repeatedly violated employees' rights during an organizing campaign or first contract drive.